EppsNet Archive: United States

Who Will Be America’s America?

And do not forget that nearly all of the countless 20th-century innovations and industries that made the rest of the developed world so efficient and comfortable came from America, and it wasn’t a coincidence. As long as Europe had America taking risks, investing ambitiously, and yes, being “inequal,” it had the luxury of benefiting from the results without making the same sacrifices. Who will be America’s America? — Garry Kasparov Read more →

Greece is Going Out of Business

I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries. The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous. My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences? According to the government debt chart below, the next countries… Read more →

Women’s World Cup: Why the US Will Beat Germany

A recurring theme in world history is the United States dick-slapping Germany: World War I, World War II, “Tear down this wall!” … maybe that’s not the most appropriate metaphor for a women’s soccer match but we’ve been winners all our lives. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! Read more →

Japan, Day 3: Atami, Lake Ashi, Owakudani, Mount Fuji, Shinjuku

Atami Our hotel in Atami was on the eastern coast. Where we live in California, you can watch the sun set over the ocean every day if you want to, but here the sun rises over the ocean, which is a little bit different. These photos are from the balcony of our room. If you look closely, you can see the United States in the background. It looks very small from this far away. Lake Ashi We started the day on a sightseeing boat at Lake Ashi: Owakudani Owakudani (lit. “Great Boiling Valley”) is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is a popular tourist site for its scenic views, volcanic activity, and especially, Kuro-tamago (lit. “black egg”) — a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulphuric; consuming the eggs… Read more →

We’re Still Smarter Than You Are

Teens from Asian nations dominated a global exam given to 15-year-olds, while U.S. students showed little improvement and failed to reach the top 20 in math, science or reading, according to test results released Tuesday. — Why Asian teens do better on tests than US teens – CSMonitor.com Why am I not shocked by that? Because Americans on the whole are dumb and lazy. We have lots of dumb, lazy parents raising dumb, lazy kids. The average American kid doesn’t compare well academically to the average kid in an Asian country where academics and hard work are valued, or to the average kid from a small, homogenous European country where it’s easier to get everyone pulling in the same educational direction. The U.S. is a big, diverse country and the average academic results are pulled down by a lot of dummkopfs. But still, the smartest people in the world are… Read more →

Rand Paul at the RNC

Highlights When I heard the current president say, “You didn’t build that,” I was first insulted, then I was angered, and then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around. Anyone who is so fundamentally misunderstanding of American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation.   In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Tang family owns The Great American Doughnut Shop. Their family fled war-torn Cambodia to come to this country. My kids and I love doughnuts, so we go there frequently. The Tangs work long hours. Mrs. Tang told us they work through the night to make the doughnuts. The Tang family have become valedictorians and National Merit Scholars. The Tangs from Cambodia are an American success story, so Mr. President, don’t go telling the Tang family that they… Read more →

Condoleezza Rice at the RNC

Highlights You see, the essence of America, what really unites us, is not nationality or ethnicity or religion. It is an idea. And what an idea it is. That you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things, that it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going. My fellow Americans, ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have never believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have never been jealous of one another and never envious of each others’ successes.   And on a personal note, a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham. The segregated city of the south where her parents cannot take her to a movie theater or to restaurants, but they have convinced her that even if she cannot have a hamburger at Woolworths, she can be… Read more →

The Problem With Debt

These are all from today’s headlines: Ireland told: Take EU bailout or trigger crisis – The Guardian Euro under siege as now Portugal hits panic button – Montreal Gazette Greek deficit much bigger than estimate – The Guardian Thirty years ago, we had the savings and loan crisis. Those were the good old days, when investors were only nervous about small banks. Investors have since become nervous about big banks, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries — Greece, Portugal, Ireland . . . That’s the problem with debt — bad things happen when your investors get nervous. What’s next? Medium-sized countries, obviously — Italy, Britain — and eventually the biggest of the big: the United States. Read more →

The Best Place to Live

Norway tops U.N. quality-of-life list; U.S. is 13th, while Niger finishes last — Associated Press, Oct. 5, 2009 Well, here we go again . . . As I’ve said before, my brother and his family used to live in Norway. He says when the sun is shining, it’s the most beautiful place in the world. The other 335 days of the year, it’s not so great . . . Read more →